Investments will protect existing homes, accelerate funding for new affordable homes, and reduce the growing affordability gap for renters.
Vancouver, BC (Feb. 28, 2023) – The provincial government unveiled its 2023 budget this afternoon, signaling a strong commitment to tackling B.C.’s housing crisis with significant new investments in affordable housing. These investments will deliver tangible progress in the effort to ensure that everyone in B.C. has an affordable home.
Highlights of the budget include:
- $4.2 billion to address inflationary costs in the Building BC portfolio of programs and to move up investments in delivering new affordable homes through the community housing sector, including doubling the number of homes in the Indigenous Housing Fund, from 1,750 to 3,500, and thousands more student housing spaces
- $1.5 billion in operating and capital funding to reduce homelessness
- a significant increase in financing available for new and existing homes
- the first increase in shelter rates since 2007, to $500/month
- a new Renters’ Tax Credit up to $400/year
These measures are in addition to last month’s historic announcement of a $500-million Rental Protection Fund to enable non-profit and co-operative housing providers to purchase existing purpose-built rental buildings to lock in their affordability and preserve tenants’ security of tenure.
Representatives of the community housing sector cautioned that inflationary pressures in financial and housing markets will make it challenging to meet the ambitious goals set out in the government’s housing agenda. It’s more important than ever that the government follow through on its planned investments and, where possible, to speed them up.
“The community housing sector welcomes the government’s continuing investment in affordable homes for British Columbians,” said Thom Armstrong, CEO of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC. “We look forward to hearing more detail from the Minister of Housing when the new BC Builds program is unveiled later in the spring.”
“Budget 2023 reinforces that affordable housing is a key priority for this government,” said Jill Atkey, CEO of BC Non-Profit Housing Association. “Investments and interventions are critical to protect the existing affordability of our rental stock at the same time that we’re building new units and providing supports to those without homes – this is a budget that reflects the investments that we’ve been calling for and will be welcome news for the community housing sector.”